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A Day at the Beach

A Day at the Beach

The other week we were in California visiting family. It allowed us the opportunity to go to the beach a couple times. It was nice just to have our feet in the sand and feel the rush of the water as it flows past our ankles on the shore.

The beach my family typically likes to frequent is called The Strands located in southern Orange County (Dana Point). What’s great about this beach is the free parking up above on the bluff. That’s the difficult part of going to the beach in Orange County - finding parking (especially free parking). Unless you live on or near the beach, you’re going to have to drive there so hunting for a parking spot is hit or miss. Normally you’d have to spend some time driving around looking for street parking on one of the residential streets or pay the meter. But here, there’s a huge parking lot that I’ve never seen completely full. But that doesn’t mean it can’t get packed.

So the thing that keeps people from going here a lot is the stairs to the beach. I had mentioned the parking is great, which it is. But there’s a catch. You see, in Orange County much of the beaches are alongside the bluffs, unlike many of the wider flatter beaches in Los Angeles. Because of that, access to the beaches along the cliffside typically require you to trek by stairs to and from the shore. It’s never bad going down to the beach. It’s the going back up part. After you’ve spent a day laying out or bodyboarding in the waves, the stairs can be daunting as the incline is that much harder when you’re depleted from the day’s activities.

The steps! See, they’re not that bad. They re-did the whole stairway a few years ago. It’s really well done and plenty of room for people to get by whether they’re going up or down.

The steps! See, they’re not that bad. They re-did the whole stairway a few years ago. It’s really well done and plenty of room for people to get by whether they’re going up or down.

To me, it’s worth it. I don’t mind the stairs so much. In fact, this summer I’ve been trying to get more steps moving around as I was immobile most of the year due to a spinal injury. The stairs just served as a way to motivate my move goal. When it came time to pack everything up and head back, the stairs weren’t as bad as I remembered as a child (PS - the stairs can be challenging if you’re a small kid or elderly person). I will mention that there is a small trolley that was installed awhile back that can transport a small group of people. However, I’ve never seen it operating and this last visit it was off again. Something to consider, though.

The water drifting onto the shore.

The water drifting onto the shore.

Beach blanket on the sand

Beach blanket on the sand

Don’t let the clouds fool you. The water wasn’t actually that cold.

Don’t let the clouds fool you. The water wasn’t actually that cold.

If you ever get the chance, go check out this beach. It’s family friendly and there are lifeguards on duty. Also, another nice thing is that there are public bathrooms at the top with a shower to rinse your feet as well as a bathroom further down at the bottom toward the right. So as you trek back up to your vehicle, you can rinse your feet at the top before getting sand all over your car. Because there will be sand.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever been to this beach and what you like or dislike about it.

Pros

  • Free Parking

  • Public Bathrooms and Shower

  • Lifeguards on Duty

  • Trolley (when working)

Cons

  • Stairs

  • Trolley not reliable

Summer Coming to an End

Summer Coming to an End

Grocery Shopping as a Couple

Grocery Shopping as a Couple